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Steve Stockman: We’re Not Shutting Down the Government, We’re Saving America!

Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas has a clever new plan to avert government shutdown. Stockman suggests that the House GOP, rather than threatening to shut down the government if Obamacare remains funded, should instead offer to keep the government open except for funding Obamacare.

If the distinction isn’t clear to you, Stockman tried to clear things up in an appearance yesterday on Newsmax, where he explained, “One of the things that we’re doing wrong is that we’re accepting the argument that when we defund Obamacare, that we’re closing the government down. We’re not! In fact, we’re saving the nation’s future by not funding it.”

Stockman went on to explain that the shift in messaging is necessary because, while Republicans have math on their side, “Democrats will bring out somebody in a wheelchair, and we lose the argument on visuals.”

Dumped By National Anti-Choice Group Over Marriage Stand, Cleveland Right to Life Pushes Back

On Monday, Brian wrote about an interesting schism emerging within one of the nation’s largest anti-choice groups, National Right to Life.

When Ohio Sen. Rob Portman announced earlier this year that, inspired by his openly gay son, he had switched his position to support marriage equality, the National Right to Life’s Cleveland affiliate announced that it would no longer support Portman. In response, National Right to Life cut ties with the Cleveland group, citing its “public criticisms of and implicit political threats against a U.S. Senator who has supported the right-to-life position” over “a non-right-to-life issue.”

Although National Right to Life’s letter [PDF] was sent in July, it hit the news this week when Cleveland Right to Life decided to fight back, releasing the letter to the media,  alleging “coordination” between Sen. Portman’s office and the national group and asking, “How can you be for the child if you are not for the family?”

Yesterday, Cleveland Right to Life President Molly Smith took the group’s case to the Steve Deace show, where she speculated that National Right to Life dropped her chapter because they are “terrified about Sen. Portman’s position and the fact that they might lose his support on his pro-life stance.”

Smith told Deace that she had met with Portman and that “he assures us he’s never going to abandon the pro-life cause when it comes to abortion and the issues we’ve just spoken about.”

“But when it comes to gay marriage, he’s 100 percent behind his son,” she said. “That’s not pro-life!”

Deace was skeptical that Portman would hold onto his opposition to abortion rights.  “Does that mean that if he has a daughter that has an abortion, he changes his mind on that too, Molly?” he asked. Smith responded, “Absolutely.”

Smith concluded her interview with an odd caveat: “Even as I say all of this, Steve, I feel so terrible, because this is a very private matter for Sen. Portman’s family.”

FRC Fellow: Allowing Women in Combat ‘Tragic,’ ‘Immoral,’ and ‘Un-American’

On her radio show this week, Janet Parshall spoke with Robert L. Maginnis, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and the current senior fellow for national security at the Family Research Council, about the Pentagon’s recent decision to lift the ban on women serving in combat units.

Maginnis, who recently wrote a book on the topic, said that allowing women into combat goes against science. He called the situation “tragic,” “unnecessary,” “immoral,” and “un-American.”
 

Maginnis: I’m concerned about the direction of my country. I see this as a tragic mistake that’s going to weaken our fighting forces, compromise the battle proven standards that we’ve shed a lot of blood over the last couple centuries for. And also it’s unnecessary risk for the people that ultimately are pushed into this environment. And finally I think it’s immoral and I think it’s un-American what these people want to do. And yet, I see- the subtitle I think is very fair- I see cowardice on the Capitol Hill. Because our Founders were wise people. They said we want the Congress to set the rules and regulations for the armed forces. And guess what, they haven’t had a hearing in 34 years in the House armed services and they haven’t had one in 23 years in the Senate. They’ve relegated, they’ve abandoned the responsibility that the founders intended them to have and they’ve pushed it into the administration. And the administration, you know, they’re going to do what’s politically expedient. And that just hurts my heart. Cause I know the environment that we’re going to push these young people into, I know how vicious it is. And it just doesn’t fit with the science and common sense, much less the interests of our country.

Parshall, for her part, blamed the decision on the “radical feminist movement,” claiming the policy change would not only “push women” into a situation that they don’t want to be in, it flies in the face of God and what is “natural.”

“I thought men were made by God to defend women,” Parshall lamented. “It was just a natural.”
 

Parshall: So it begs the question- and I'm asking it, but at some level it's rhetorical- and that is, why we got here? But Bobby you and I have been in Washington. We watched the radical feminist movement. We saw the residuals of all of that, so this is just a tendril outreach it seems to me. But it goes deeper than just ardent feminism. It violates a core principle. And I’m going to say something terribly politically incorrect. I thought men were made by God to defend women. It was just a natural. And to push women into combat, front line combat- and you draw a distinction by the way between high intensity combat and high intensity police work which I love and I want you to explain in a minute. It seems to me to violate the very core at some level of how God designed us. Is that an overreaction on my part?

Maginnis: Not at all, Janet. Men are hard wired to protect women.

PFAW Crashes ALEC’s Party at Biggest Anti-ALEC Protest to Date


All photos by Scott Foval.

Bill Moyers once called ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council) the “most influential corporate-funded political force most of America has never heard of.”  Today, PFAW is helping to change that – coming out in full force to shed some light on the harm ALEC’s extreme agenda causes to everyday Americans.

As ALEC holds its 40th annual meeting in Chicago, PFAW is there – along with ally organizations, labor groups, and advocates from around the country – to crash their party.  The protest happening now outside Chicago’s Palmer House Hilton is the biggest anti-ALEC protest to date. 

The mass of people at the rally underscores the growing momentum to expose and fight back against ALEC, which connects corporate lobbyists with state legislators to pass special interest legislation in all fifty states.  For four decades, ALEC has worked behind closed doors to get laws harmful to everyday Americans on the books – working against paid sick days, pushing tax policies favoring the rich, and helping “Stand Your Ground” become law in more than two dozen states.  As our signs say, “ALEC corporations write laws, real people suffer.”

And today, we’re calling them out.

PFAW

Steven Emerson: Blame Tolerance for the Fort Hood Attacks

American Family Radio host Sandy Rios spoke yesterday with Islamic extremism “expert” Steve Emerson about the ongoing trial of Nidal Hasan, the army major accused of killing 13 people and wounding more than 30 in a killing spree at Fort Hood back in 2009.

Rios and Emerson agreed that the killing was a result of the “deterrent effects” of tolerance and that if it weren’t for fear of being called a “racist,” and “Islamaphobe,” Hasan would have been reported to the FBI long ago.

Emerson took it one step further, saying that those who fight Islamophobia are “as much culpable as those pulling the trigger.”

Emerson: And there’s also going to be playing, maybe later today or tomorrow, a videotape of Hasan giving a presentation at Walter Reed where he openly and unambiguously calls for the killing of infidels. And not one person in that 200 person room listening ever reported him to the FBI.

Rios: That’s shocking.

Emerson: It is shocking. And you know what Sandy? It’s because of the fear that they would be called Islamaphobes. This is where this whole notion of the radical Islamic groups calling anybody who criticizes radical Islam as a racist has had a deterrent effect in reporting potential terrorist attacks and they are as much culpable as the people pulling the trigger.

Rios: Absolutely. And I want to say that this is across the board with our intelligence agencies. Their hands have been so restricted, their training manuals stripped of what’s really true. And they really are afraid to report even suspicious behavior. And that’s why we are probably, no doubt, more at risk now than we ever were before 9/11.

Sandy Rios Knows Gays Are Capable of 'The Right Kind of Love' Because They're Always Heartbroken From Breakups

American Family Radio host Sandy Rios dedicated a long chunk of her program yesterday to responding to the widespread attention to her recent comparison of gay couple’s love to the “love” Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro claimed he had for his prisoners.

Rios claimed she had been deliberately misunderstood, but then proceeded to repeat her claims in detail. She finally spoke directly to those who monitor her program, thanking us for finding her a wider audience and declaring, “I stand by what we say…As unfortunate and uncomfortable, heartbreaking, irrational that seems to some of you that are so steeped in the homosexual lifestyle, you’re steeped in popular culture, it’s still the truth.”

Rios then went on to deliver a direct message to the LGBT people who were offended by her comments, saying that the fact that people were upset proves that she was telling the truth. “If what we’re saying is not true, it should have no power over you,” she said.

But Rios has hope for gay people. She assured her listeners that gay people are “capable of great love” because she sees the “tremendous heartbreak in the homosexual community,” where “there aren’t many lasting relationships – maybe among lesbians, but certainly not among gay men.”

All this heartbreak, Rios concludes, shows that gay people could achieve “the right kind of love” – that is, opposite-sex marriage – if they just tried.

If what we’re saying is not true, it should have no power over you, it shouldn’t bother you. Because I think in time, what’s true and what’s right, what works, what comports with reality will be lasting. So, let’s just see if your view of this is lasting. Let’s just see if homosexual marriage is all that you think it is, if it’s a pure and wonderful expression of love for two people.

Now, I would never say that homosexuals cannot love. They can, of course. Capable of great love. And I know there’s been tremendous heartbreak in the homosexual community – and I’ve talked about this before – heartbreak when you lose a loved one, heartbreak when you break up. Because, you know, there aren’t many lasting relationships – maybe among lesbians, but certainly not among gay men, that’s not the norm.

So, there’s a lot of heartbreak, a lot of rejection when you get older, so I know that you’re capable and able. You’re humans, you love. The point is, the right kind of love. The right kind of love is life-giving. And the right kind of love is love for God, love for your natural family, love between a man and a woman and a woman and a man in marriage. Not cohabitating. There’s just some standards that God lays down.
 

"160 Summer" Citizens United Amendment Update

We're working to get 160 members of Congress to sponsor one of the fourteen "Money Out" amendment resolutions that have been introduced so far in the 113th session.
PFAW

Harvey: Non-Discrimination Laws 'Create a Climate of Suspicion, Spite and Revenge'

Mission America’s Linda Harvey dedicated her program this morning to LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination laws, which she claims are in fact “all about discrimination” and “create a climate of suspicion, spite and revenge.”

“If you disagree about being required to respect homosexuality -- however these folks want to define respect -- at work, at school, at the pool or at the playground, you may find yourself the victim of this unrelenting agenda,” she warned.

Phyllis Schlafly Was 'Extremely Offended' and 'Personally Insulted' By DOMA Decision

Eagle Forum founder and anti-gay activist Phyllis Schlafly was “extremely offended” by the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act, because of “all the nasty names” she claims the court’s majority called DOMA’s proponents.

Speaking with Steve Deace yesterday, Schlafly said that it was “inappropriate, unprecedented and really nasty” for Justice Anthony Kennedy to find that DOMA’s passage had anything to do with “animus against gays.”

“I feel personally insulted by what Justice Kennedy said,” she added.

Deace: You wrote an interesting reaction to the US Supreme Court, I guess we would call it ‘opinion,’ but it really looked to me, Phyllis, like five justices, and Anthony Kennedy in particular, chose to write what amounts to an anti-Christian polemic disguised as a legal opinion. And it seems like you sort of got the same vibe from what they wrote.
 

Schlafly: Well, I was extremely offended at all the nasty names he called us. I just think it’s so inappropriate, unprecedented and really nasty for the justice to say that the reason DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, was passed, and those who stand up for traditional marriage is that they have animus against gays, they want to deny them equal dignity, that we want to brand them as unworthy, we want to humiliate their children, we have a hateful desire to harm a politically unpopular group. I just think, I feel personally insulted by what Justice Kennedy said. I don’t think that’s true, the idea that anybody who stood up for traditional marriage is guilty of all that hate in his heart is just outrageous.

Later in the interview, the two discussed Hobby Lobby’s suit against the health care law’s mandate that they provide their employees with insurance that includes birth control coverage. Deace claimed that the Obama administration is making “a clear attempt to eradicate the worldview that stands in opposition to statism.”

Schlafly agreed: “Well, I think you’re right, and that’s why I think Obama is definitely trying to make this a totally secular country where you’re not permitted to reference God in anything that anybody else can hear.”

It goes without saying that if the president is trying to eliminate public references to God, he’s doing a very poor job of it.

Deace: Well, and I think you look at something like religious freedom, you’ve got the Obama regime trying to tell companies like Hobby Lobby that your freedom of religion, when you walk into corporate headquarters there at Hobby Lobby, you no longer have the freedom of religion. So you have to do what we tell you to do, even if it violates the moral conscience of your religion, the Bill of Rights ends when you walk into your corporate headquarters. What we see going on in the US Military, for example. We’re seeing unprecedented threats to religious liberty. I know this is something you’ve written about as well. And I think this is a clear attempt to eradicate the worldview that stands in opposition to statism.

Schlafly: Well, I think you’re right, and that’s why I think Obama is definitely trying to make this a totally secular country where you’re not permitted to reference God in anything that anybody else can hear.

Phyllis Schlafly Upset By DC Circuit Nominee's Support for Women's Equality, Of Course

In a WorldNetDaily column today, legendary anti-feminist Phyllis Schafly joins the far-right attacks on Cornelia “Nina” Pillard, one of President Obama’s three nominees to fill vacancies on the influential Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

As Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick has ably explained, the far right’s objection to Pillard is what they see as her excessive support for women’s equality – including “radical” ideas like access to birth control and paid family leave.

So it’s no surprise that Schlafly, who has built a long career out of opposing any and all advances to women’s rights, is now joining the Family Research Council in skewing the record to attack Pillard, whom she calls “a scary feminist” with a trail of “extremist feminist writings”:

Obama not only has the help of the ACLU and similar organizations to pursue anti-religion litigation, but he is determined to appoint many like-minded judges to the federal courts. He recently nominated a scary feminist named Nina Pillard to the important D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Her extremist views include the wild allegation that abortion is necessary to help “free women from historically routine conscription into maternity.” She says that those who oppose Obamacare’s contraception-abortion mandate are really reinforcing “broader patterns of discrimination against women as a class of presumptive breeders.”

Obama would surely like to get supremacist judges to carry out his goals to rewrite the meaning of the First Amendment. We hope there are enough Republicans in the Senate to expose Pillard’s paper trail of extremist feminist writings.

It’s worth mentioning that the woman who Schlafly calls a “scary feminist” has a long history of finding common ground across ideological divides. She worked on the same side as both Bush administrations as a litigator on several major constitutional cases. She also runs Georgetown Law School’s respected Supreme Court Institute, which helps lawyers from around the country in preparing for Supreme Court arguments without regard to which side they represent (including attorneys arguing every single case before the Supreme Court this year). She even led the committee whose research was used by the American Bar Association that found ultra-conservative Justice Samuel Alito “well qualified” for his job.

But Schlafly’s definition of “scary feminist” encompasses just about anyone who supports any sort of legal rights for women. In fact, Schlafly has gone to bat against Pillard before, criticizing two of the nominee’s most widely-hailed victories on behalf of women’s equality: winning the Supreme Court case brought by the George H.W. Bush Administration that opened the Virginia Military Institute to women, and working on the same side as George W. Bush administration lawyers to successfully defend the Family and Medical Leave Act in the courts.

Schlafly, of course, railed against both victories. She charged that the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the FMLA “was based on feminist fantasies about a gender-neutral society” and when the Supreme Court unanimously struck down VMI’s discriminatory admissions procedures, she wrote to the school’s alumni:

The massive government lawsuit against VMI wasn't about "ending sex discrimination" or "allowing women to have access to the same educational benefits that men have at VMI." It was a no-holds-barred fight to feminize VMI waged by the radical feminists and their cohorts in the Federal Government.

Since feminists successfully got women admitted into the military academies, and got the Clinton Administration to assign women to military combat positions, VMI and the Citadel remained as the most visible fortresses of the concept that men and women are fundamentally different. The feminists hate you just because you exist.

Which is to say that if Republican senators decide to adopt Schlafly’s definition of “scary feminist,” they should know that it includes not only the basic defense of reproductive rights, but also support for laws that allow women to work outside the home while raising children and the belief that public institutions shouldn’t discriminate on the basis of sex.
 

Tell the GOP: Yes or No Votes for Obama’s DC Circuit Nominees!

Now that we’re well into President Obama’s fifth year in office, there are no prizes for guessing what the GOP’s response is to a diverse slate of nominees to the critical DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

Obstruct. Obstruct. Obstruct.

Even before they were nominated, Republican Senators were laying the groundwork to block anyone nominated to the circuit. Now that President Obama has nominated three unquestionably qualified jurists with broad support from across the ideological spectrum…Republican leaders are still intent on denying them simple yes-or-no votes.

We’ve created a simple graphic to share on Facebook to let Republicans know you’re watching how they treat this diverse set of nominees. Click here to share.


PFAW

Alex Jones Describes His Long Relationship With Rand Paul

After interviewing former congressman Ron Paul about his new online news network today, Alex Jones of InfoWars said he has known Kentucky senator and potential presidential candidate Rand Paul for more than fifteen years. Jones, who believes that the government was behind numerous terrorist attacks and even the deadly tornados that hit Oklahoma this year, said of Paul, “He’ll probably end up being president if we turn this country around, he’s got a real shot at it except for the electronic voting machine fraud.” “Here we are eighteen years later and the whole New World Order is attacking Rand Paul,” he added.

Watch:

Santorum: 'We Have The Truth And We Give Up'

Rick Santorum won Students for Life’s 2013 William Wilberforce Award, and spent part of his speech lamenting the gains made by the left in the US. The likely presidential candidate said progressives focus on politics “in everything they do and in every aspect of their life…. They live it, they are passionate, they are willing to do and say uncomfortable things in mixed company, they are willing to make the sacrifice with their business because they care enough.”

He even likened liberals to the Continental Army of the American Revolution: “We won the American Revolution against those British not because we were the most powerful, not because we had the most arms, not because we had the truth, we won because we wanted it more, we were willing to sacrifice everything for it and we were not going to give up, we were not going to stop. That’s how the left has done to America what you’ve seen in your lifetime because they simply won’t give up.”

“We have the truth and we give up, we have righteousness and we give up because it’s unpopular,” Santorum said.

Watch:

New GOP Same As the Old GOP: Iowa Summit to Feature Republican Leaders and Religious Right Stalwarts

Year after year we keep hearing about the supposed decline of the Religious Right and the GOP’s shift away from the fringes. Despite all of that talk and speculation, this weekend will see this year’s second Religious Right gathering for potential presidential candidates, almost three years before the Iowa caucus. For anyone who anticipates that Republican presidential candidates will move towards the center in 2016, this weekend’s festivities are a very loud wakeup call.

The upcoming Family Leadership Summit comes on the heels of last month’s Iowa Pastors and Pews meeting, which hosted Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Ted Cruz and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.

This weekend’s conference, hosted by the Religious Right group The Family Leader, will feature Cruz, former Sen. Rick Santorum and perennial presidential candidate-vacillator Donald Trump.

Bob Vander Plaats of The Family Leader, a former Republican gubernatorial candidate who spearheaded the 2010 campaign to boot pro-marriage equality justices off the Iowa Supreme Court, is hosting the event. The Family Leader continues its push to become a conservative power player: Last year, the organization hosted a debate attended by every Republican presidential candidate save Mitt Romney and tried to get candidates to pledge to fight legal pornography and to agree that African-American families were better off under slavery. In 2016, the group might take over the reins of the Iowa Straw Poll.

Along with Iowa Gov. Terry Brandstad and Sen. Chuck Grassley, several far-right figures are slated to speak at the summit:

Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who recently claimed that most young undocumented immigrants are drug mules with “calves the size of cantaloupes.”

Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller, the far-right 2010 GOP Senate nominee who has tiestomilitia groups.

Talk show host Steve Deace, who has fantasized about assaulting openly gay NBA player Jason Collins and suggested that the public school system was responsible for the Newtown massacre.

Talk show host Kevin McCullough, who believes that gay people are out to kill him and hate God (but also don’t exist).

Talk show host Jan Mickelson, who has said that AIDS is divine punishment for homosexuality and hailed former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s opposition to gay rights.

Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, who has likened his campaign against marriage equality to fights against slavery and Jim Crow.

David Bossie of Citizens United, the Clinton-era witch hunter who predicted that the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell would cripple the military and bring back the draft.

Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America, who argued that the Violence Against Women Act represented a “war on women” and accused Planned Parenthood of supporting domestic abuse.

Actor/Reality Show contestant Stephen Baldwin, who called President Obama a “cultural terrorist.”

Dr. Del Tackett of Truth In Action Ministries, who blamed homosexuality on lazy parenting.

Doug Napier of Alliance Defending Freedom, who pledged to represent county officials in Iowa who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Dr. David Noebel of Summit Ministries, who has warned that “Obama and his radical homosexual mafia plan to sodomize the world and make such perversion seem as wholesome as apple pie and vanilla ice cream.”

Cuccinelli: McAuliffe is Waging 'The Real War on Women'…Because He Hasn't Commented on Mayor Three Time Zones Away

Last week, the Republican National Committee and the four national GOP campaign committees sent out a memo claiming that there is in fact a Democratic “war on women” being waged on two fronts: New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner’s sexting and San Diego mayor Bob Filner’s sexual harassment.

Claiming that “most Democrats said nothing” about the San Diego mayor’s serial sexual harassment and the former congressman’s serial sexting of strangers, the memo charges, “With their silence, they are sanctioning the actions of Bob Filner and Anthony Weiner and numerous others who have assaulted, harassed, and preyed on women.”

Now, Virginia attorney general and Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli has picked up on the theme, sending out a fund raising email with a graphic connecting Cuccinelli’s Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe and President Obama with Weiner and Filner.

“By not condemning Weiner and Filner’s unacceptable behavior towards women, leaders like Obama and McAuliffe are signaling to our young people that it’s okay for powerful American leaders to harass, humiliate and assault women,” the email reads.

As many commentators have noted, the GOP’s new attempt to turn the tables on the War on Women isn’t exactly convincing, especially coming from the party of trans-vaginal ultrasounds and “legitimate rape.”

But the argument is almost comical coming from Cuccinelli, who has one of the most extreme records in the country when it comes to women’s health and women’s rights. This is a candidate who:

Yet, Terry McAuliffe is waging “the real war on women” because of the actions of a man he’s never met who lives on the opposite side of the country.

Boykin and Starnes Doubt Terror Alerts are Genuine & Suggest Warnings are Ploy to Downplay 'Scandals'

While speaking with American Family Association talk show host Sandy Rios, Fox News commentator Todd Starnes and Family Research Council vice president Jerry Boykin floated the conspiracy theory that new security warnings might be a political ploy to distract from the “scandals” under President Obama.

Neither Boykin nor Starnes had any evidence to back up their claim. In fact, the last time such a move occurred was under Republican leadership: during the Bush administration, former Department of Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge revealed that he faced pressure from top officials to raise the terror alert during the 2004 campaign for political purposes.

Rios asked Boykin if the threats were genuine or “a way of covering for the scandals that are going on?” Boyin said that “both” of her claims are true.

He claimed Obama dismissed warnings about Al Qaeda’s work with other terrorist organizations, “the network is growing and the threat is very serious so that’s not what the administration has been telling us.” However, Obama actually made the point in May that Al Qaeda has become “more diffuse” and working in “regionalized networks”.

After distorting Obama’s views, Boykin went on to claim the alerts are an attempt to “deflect” attention from the administration’s “scandals”: “I think you’re absolutely right, I think there are so many things that are occurring today that are embarrassing for the administration, that are causing people to start to wake up and take a look at what the administration is doing and I think this is a way of deflecting attention away from all these other scandals.”

Not to be outdone, Starnes said that the warnings could be a “false flag” and asked, “I mean, is the entire planet endanger? Because they’re putting the entire world on this alert. Unfortunately in this administration it’s like the principle of the little boy who cried wolf, we just don’t know when to believe this administration.”

NRLC Punishes Chapter Over Gay Marriage Stance

The National Right to Life Committee has cut ties with its Cleveland chapter after the local group announced that it would oppose Ohio Sen. Rob Portman’s re-election because of his support for marriage equality.

NRLC president Carol Tobias told [PDF] the Cleveland Right to Life that its “public criticisms of and implicit political threats against a U.S. Senator who has supported the right-to-life position” over “a non-right-to-life issue” has “violated National Right to Life policy, causing the chapter to disaffiliate itself from the NRLC.”

“We respectfully insist that you remove from your website the claim that you are affiliated with NRLC,” Tobias writes.

The Cleveland group blamed the disaffiliation on “coordination” between the national group and Sen. Portman’s office and reiterated that “any politician, including Portman, who supports the break-up of the American family and supports the denial of a mother and father for children has forfeited the right of support and endorsement of the prolife movement.”

Seeing that Portman became persona non grata among Religious Right organizations after he endorsed marriage equality, NRLC’s decision to stick by him is likely to provoke the ire of other anti-choice groups that are more vocal opponents of same-sex marriage.

Rep. Jim Bridenstine: 'We Would Be Heroes' for Shutting Down Government to Defund Obamacare

Even though only thirty-four percent of Americans want to repeal health care reform (and even fewer support shutting down the government in order to do so), Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) confidently predicted that Americans — Republican and Democrat alike — will treat GOP members of Congress as “heroes” is they shut down the government over Obamacare funding.

“We would be heroes,” Bridenstine said while speaking with Family Research Council head Tony Perkins, “you know somebody was showing me polling about government shutdown this and government shutdown that, we don’t want to shut down the government, we want to fund the government, we just want to have a limitation amendment that defunds Obamacare.”

The congressman’s remarks echoed those of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who believes that President Obama is actually the one threatening a government shut down because he won’t bend to his demands to defund the health care law.

Bridenstine added that Obama should be grateful that Republicans would support any resolution funding the government at all: “Look, we’re willing to reluctantly fund all of the rest of the government; all we’re asking for is this one item.”

Revisiting McConnell’s Obstruction and the 2014 Kentucky Senate Race

The 2014 elections are quickly heating up in Kentucky. Two weeks ago, Tea Party candidate Matt Bevin announced his plans to challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in the Republican primary, setting off a round of vicious attack ads from McConnell’s campaign almost instantly.  Even more troublesome for McConnell though than Bevin’s primary challenge is the prospect of a general election fight with Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who announced her candidacy in early July and who is expected to coast through the Democratic primary.  According to a poll released on July 31st, Grimes is leading McConnell by 2% in a potential head to head race, and is polling 15% higher amongst those who have heard of both candidates – McConnell, a longstanding incumbent, currently enjoys substantially higher name recognition.

Although Grimes and Bevin are polar opposites on the political spectrum, they both are in agreement on one thing: Senator Mitch McConnell is vulnerable.  Polling data released in April revealed that a full 54% of Kentuckians disapprove of McConnell’s job performance in the Senate, while only 36% approve.

Such numbers should not come as a surprise to any casual observer of the Senate.  McConnell is the king of gridlock, and has become the personification of DC dysfunction.  Kentuckians, like the rest of the country, have grown understandably fed up with his tactics.

Earlier this year, Public Campaign Action Fund explored McConnell’s obstruction in a report entitled, “Cashing in on Obstruction: How Mitch McConnell’s Abuse of the Filibuster and Other Senate Rules Benefits His Big Money Donors.” Among other findings, the report revealed that McConnell’s repeated and unprecedented use of the filibuster has benefitted the interests of his campaign backers.  The report’s case studies were particularly instructive.

In March of 2012, on the very day debate began on a bill that would have repealed Big Oil subsidies, McConnell received an astonishing $131,500 in campaign contributions from Texan oil donors.  Three days later, the bill was blocked by a filibuster.

In April of 2009, the House passed the “Helping Families Save Their Homes Act,” a bill that included a provision that would have granted bankruptcy judges more flexibility to modify mortgages for homeowners facing foreclosure, and that would have cost the country’s biggest banks billions of dollars in profits.  That provision failed to receive the necessary 60 votes to overcome a filibuster and didn’t make it into the Senate version of the bill.  Over the course of his career, McConnell has received $8.7 million in campaign contributions from Wall Street interests.

In 2010 and 2012, despite overwhelming public support for providing transparency in election spending, McConnell led the charge against the DISCLOSE acts, bills that would have closed current loopholes in federal election law and brought Citizens United-empowered “dark money” groups to light.  Those groups – 501c4 non-profits and 501c6 trade associations – spent at a 5:1 ratio in favor of Republicans like Senator McConnell over Democrats in the 2012 election cycle.

In March of 2010, John J. “Jack” McConnell (no relation) was nominated to the District Court of Rhode Island, after successfully litigating against asbestos, tobacco, and lead paint interests on behalf of consumers.  Jack McConnell faced substantial opposition from trade associations that represent those interests, like the Chamber of Commerce, and from Senator McConnell, who, after filibustering the nomination and delaying the vote so that it took a full 420 days to be confirmed, stated for the record he resented Jack McConnell’s “persistent hostility to American job creators.” Senator McConnell has received, it should be noted, $1.7 million in campaign contributions from the insurance industry alone.

McConnell’s career campaign contributions by sector
Source: Public Campaign Action Fund

Yet beyond obstructing the governing process to the benefit of his campaign backers, Senator McConnell has also pursued obstruction for the sake of gridlock itself.  As People For the American Way continues to report , McConnell’s treatment of judicial nominees has been particularly abominable.  The obstruction of Jack McConnell, a district court nominee, was not an aberration; it was part of a strategy of judicial obstruction that, under McConnell’s continued abuse of Senate rules, has become standard practice.  During the eight years that President George W. Bush was in office, only one federal district court nomination was filibustered, requiring the majority to file a cloture petition; so far under President Obama, Republicans have forced Democrats into 20 such filings for district court nominees. 

There’s a price to pay for unremittingly representing corporate interests, and for being the leader of an assault on the Senate’s functionality.  And the American public, and the state of Kentucky, are well of aware of who’s to blame.

PFAW

Gay-Inclusive Curriculum Leads to Witchcraft, Child Molestation

Last week, Sandy Rios spoke to a South Carolina teacher named Ira Thomas who denounced the National Education Association’s gay-inclusive curriculum during the union’s Atlanta convention and even compared the curriculum to instructing children on how to use crack.

Thomas also spoke about his anti-gay activism to Linda Harvey, a harsh critic of the NEA, over the weekend and this time said that gay-inclusive curriculum will let people force “things on us in school that we don’t believe in from witchcraft to even the molestation from children.”

Later in the interview, Thomas likened the issue to the Penn State abuse scandal where “so many people knew what was going wrong but no one spoke out for whatever reason.”

Thomas: There was another item about showing a video and I can’t remember what video but it was something dealing with the gay and lesbian [sic], but after sitting through several of those I decided it was time to let the voice be heard instead of sitting by and saying nothing.

Harvey: So what did you eventually say?

Thomas: In short I told them as a person I do not have a right to discriminate, but by the same token they do not have a right to disseminate what I consider to be harmful material to children. I do not have a right to tell them what to choose but they also do not have a right to choose a curriculum for me that I feel is biblically wrong. It’s like with prayer, it’s not right for me to put my Christian beliefs on anybody, it is right for me to share the Gospel, but even Christ gave us the choice. If we’re going to go there then the next thing we know we’re going to have everybody forcing things on us in school that we don’t believe in from witchcraft to even the molestation from children.



Thomas: I don’t want to take this analogy too far but the best one I can think of is the incident that happened at Penn State. So many people knew what was going wrong but no one spoke out for whatever reason. Even with this, we can believe it in our heart but if we don’t ever speak out we are allowing things to go and to keep going on and on.
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